The Bridge #2.2
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642
This event is 21 and over
Jazz – owing to its particular history – has always been an unmatched medium that allowed the sounds and music of different worlds to express themselves with passion and singularity, shaped by a musical art dedicated to collective invention and reinvention. Jazz was the original “world music,” long before this label became widespread.
In the recent years, after a century of stories and legends when every improviser, group, and scene grew ever more specific, many French and American musicians have expressed a renewed interest in experiencing the musical and sociomusical realities of their transatlantic counterparts. To really create mutual knowledge. But often with the regret that these adventures, swift to go “beyond expectations,” do not continue beyond a few concerts, a tour, or a recording, due to the lack of adequate structures.
The Bridge intends to form such a network for exchange, production, and diffusion, to build a transatlantic bridge that will be crossed on a regular basis by French and American musicians as part of collaborative projects. And, in addition to the scheduled projects, encourage meetings and relationships between creative musicians and perpetuate them. In other words: to give them the times and spaces to join and rejoin on both sides of the ocean and to deepen their exchanges.
Mai Sugimoto – alto saxophone
Raymond Boni – guitar
Anton Hatwich – double bass
Paul Rogers – double bass
Guitarist heir to all the challenges provoked by free jazz, Raymond Boni defends, in a style of astonishing syncretism, an approach resolutely "in struggle" with this instrument unloved by him which makes him an improviser who does not allow himself to be locked into any convention.
Born on March 15, 1947 in Toulon, Raymond Boni studied piano, then tried his hand at the harmonica, an instrument that he still sometimes played with deliberate candor. t the age of fifteen, he was offered a guitar, an instrument that rejected him until he discovered Django Reinhardt with gypsy musicians from his neighbourhood. His technique will remain marked by flamenco playing. In 1971, he recorded his first solo album, L'Oiseau, l'Arbre, le Béton. Two years later, he formed a duo with another singular guitarist, Gérard Marais. Through Jef Gilson, a central figure in French free jazz, he met the saxophonist André Jaume with whom he formed the Nommo trio, completed by the percussionist Gérard Siracusa. In duo with saxophonist Claude Bernard, he recorded a record emblematic of these years of experimentation: Potpourri pour parce que (1977).
In 1978, a long-term collaboration began with the African-American multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee. The guitarist became one of the artisans of the saxophonist's "Po Music" and contributed, between 1978 and 1983, to several records (Old Eyes and Mysteries, Topology, Oleo...) which were followed by stays and concerts in the United States (1984-85). Moving to Marseille in 1981, he worked there with the dancer and choreographer Geneviève Sorin and participated alongside her in shows as an actor and musician. With André Jaume, who remains one of his main partners, he pays tribute to Django Reinhardt (1985). In 1994, the Balanescu Quartet recorded Le Trajet ou le Peuple témoin, a composition in homage to the Roma people.
An esteemed guitarist of the French improvised music family, Raymond Boni multiplies his encounters, sometimes punctual, with eager instrumentalists, like himself for spontaneous exchanges and polymorphic improvisation. These often take the form of a duo, generally immortalized by the recording, from which results an abundant discography: duo with double bassist Claude Tchamitchian (1995), with drummer Eric Echampard under the seal of Cecil Taylor (1999), with Joe McPhee (2002), with drummer Luc Bouquet (2005), etc. Rarely long-lasting, his association with Joe McPhee extends through various projects such as Remembrance (with bassist Michael Bisio) or the quartet Next to You, completed by Daunik Lazro and Claude Tchamitchian, the latter integrating Boni into his New Lousadzak (2006). Boni is also part of Mamabaray with his son Bastien, double bass player, and drummer Makoto Sato and saxophonist Maki Nakano.
Playing all the expressive possibilities of the electric guitar, borrowing the elements of his vocabulary from very distant musical sources, from gypsy traditions to the most "noisy" rock, Raymond Boni never ceases to explore the sounds and the range of effects made possible by the very nature of his instrument, in order to reach those "songs of tenderness" (title of a solo created in 2005) that are born, even in the heart of sound chaos, from the vibration of the strings.
Bassist, composer, and improviser Anton Hatwich has lived in Chicago since 2003. He was born and raised in Rockford, IL, growing up in a musical family. Anton moved to Iowa City, IA in 1995 and lived there until 2002, earning a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Iowa. After graduation Hatwich taught for two years as Visiting Artist in Music at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. At the UI he studied bass with Dr. Diana Gannett, jazz and improvisation with John Rapson, and also gained valuable experience playing with the school's renown Center for New Music, under the direction of David Gompper. Outside of class, Anton was active in the local music scene. Of particular lasting importance was his work with clarinettist, saxophonist, and composer Robert Paredes, with whom Anton took first steps in the world of free improvisation.
In late 2002 Hatwich started spending large amounts of time amongst Chicago's improvised music community, hanging out all night with his new friends at concerts and bars, and crashing on his brother's couch. One thing led to another, and by spring of 2003 he was playing so much in Chicago that it made sense to move there. Since that time he has played in endlessly varied groups of (mostly) improvising musicians, with some combinations sticking around longer than others. A partial list of his collaborators includes Frank Rosaly, Keefe Jackson, Aram Shelton, Nick Mazzarella, Russ Johnson, Tim Daisy, Jason Stein, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Josh Berman, and Paul Giallorenzo. With the bands that lasted, Anton has recorded a number of critically acclaimed albums and toured nationally and internationally. He has appeared at a handful of the major jazz festivals, including the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Ring Ring Festival in Belgrade, the Umbrella Festival, and the Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon Festival in Austria.
For Paul Rogers, music began in earnest at age 12, when he first picked up an acoustic guitar. In a way this was the shape of things to come, since that particular guitar only had four strings left. Two years later, he took up bass guitar, and then, with the money earned from various jobs, finally acquired his own double bass in 1973.
Moving to London in 1974, Rogers started gigging in pubs, until he met saxophone player Mike Osborne, and through him was introduced to the free jazz scene, soon sharing the stage with such luminaries as Elton Dean, Keith Tippett, John Stevens, Howard Riley, Stan Tracey, Ken Hyder, Alan Skidmore, Evan Parker, Tony Marsh, Kenny Wheeler and John Etheridge. During this period, he was rarely in the same group for too long, preferring to accumulate experience through associations with as many musicians as possible.
After 1984, however, he started working on a regular basis with drummer Tony Levin, in trios with either Alan Skidmore or Paul Dunmall. In 1988, the Dunmall/Rogers/Levin trio with absorbed into the acclaimed improvising quartet Mujician, which associated them with pianist Keith Tippett. The group has existed ever since, playing totally spontaneous music, and released several albums for the US label Cuneiform.
In 1987, Rogers moved to the USA, living in New York City (and more precisely Bronx) for a year and a half, and playing with the likes of Gerry Hemingway, Don Byron, Myra Melford, Mark Dresser, Tom Cora and Tim Berne. Soon after returning to Europe, he was recruited by Pip Pyle for the new line-up of his jazz quartet Equip'Out. Elton Dean and Sophia Domancich completed the group, which only lasted for a handful of gigs and an album recording, "Up!". Although Equip'Out didn't record after Domancich left in 1991, the band continued until 1995, with Francis Lockwood taking over on piano, followed by Patrice Meyer who introduced guitar into a previously piano-based line-up.
Having established both a musical and personal relationship with Sophia Domancich during their Equip'Out days, Rogers joined her trio, with Bruno Tocanne on drums, soon replaced by Tony Levin, a line-up which remained in place until 1999 and recorded several acclaimed albums. Now settled in France, Rogers has also worked with such improvisers as Michel Doneda and Daunik Lazro, but remains active on an international basis, having worked in recent years with Andrew Cyrille, John Zorn, Derek Bailey, Lol Coxhill, Barry Guy, Joachim Kuhn, Alex von Schlippenbach.
Rogers is also a composer, and has been involved with different bands playing his tunes, among which the most notable was 7 R.P.M. and the Paul Rogers Sextet (which did a 10-date UK tour in November 1990 performing his 'Anglo-American Sketches' suite). He received three commisions from the Arts Council of Great Britain to compose music for his own band. Under his own name, he released a quartet album with frequent associates Paul Dunmall, Sophia Domancich and Tony Levin, as well as an entirely solo set.
Among Rogers' tours, four of the most outstanding were the Harry Beckett Trio middle east tour in 1984, Evan Parker Trio tour of Rumania, Yugaslavia and Greece in 1985, First House tour of South America in 1986, and the Dennis Gonzales Band tour of the USA, featuring Carlos Ward and Tim Green in 1990.
Mai Sugimoto is a Japanese born saxophonist and composer living in Chicago, IL. She performs frequently throughout the Chicagoland area and is a member of Hanami, a quartet that features her original work and arrangements of Japanese music. Sugimoto draws inspiration from Lennie Tristano, Ornette Coleman, Japanese folk and popular songs, and classical compositions. She continues to channel these inspirations and others into writing for her new quartet.